Collecting requirements from users for a BI project

When holding a workshop to collect requirements for a BI project you can take two broad approaches.

  1. When customers know what they want it’s easier to talk dimensions and facts i.e. £ sales by customer, product, brand, time.  Or £ Operating Expenses by Account, Department, Cost Center, Legal Entity.   If the users have the right subject knowledge they probably realise the £ Operating Expenses is not available by Product.
  2. Sometimes users don’t quite know what they want in each case you need to delve into processes.  For instance, take a Billing process.   It can be helpful to turn this into a process diagram as it will help tease out requirements.  It can also be used later to help document functional requirements when used in combination with an ERD.

The takeaway here : Don’t assume users know what they want.   Adapt your action to the situation at hand.

About Lee Hawthorn

Business Intelligence Consultant
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